Arctic Pacific Flash Freezing in December

Science Matters

BO2018338to349Eleven Days in Pacific Arctic are shown in the above animation.  In the upper center, Chukchi finally froze completely, adding 260k km2 of ice to reach 99.8% of maximum.  (Disregard the blue jagged arc as a sensor artifact.)  Meanwhile, serious freezing began in the two Pacific basins.  Bering to the south of Chukchi went from 57k km2 to 195k, now 43% of maximum.  Okhotsk to the left went from 58k km2 to 223k, now 19% of maximum.

The graph below shows December progress in ice extent recovery.

Arctic2018349From days 335 to 339, 2018 extents were flat and went below average.  Now freezing has resumed as shown in the animation above and tracking close to average again in the graph.  At day 349 (Dec. 15) MASIE shows 2018 1 day behind average (100k km2),  200k km2 greater than SII 2018,  140k km2 greater than 2007 and 358k km2 more than 2016.

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